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Metamorphoses (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 7 May 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (7 May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019283472X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192834720
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 464,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Notes are very helpful indeed."--L. Cahoon, Gettysburg College"Of the English translations now available, Melville's new version is the only that reproduces the grace, speed, and nervous tension of Ovid's original. It is a rare achievement."--Richard P. Martin, Princeton University"An excellent translation, elegant and accurate."--Simone Turbeville, University of Texas, Arlington"Melville has chosen blank verse, pleasantly varied by rhymed couplets to round off each sequence. His narrative is taut...his vocabulary vivid and flexible, his speeches pungent or powerful, and his command of wit a delight."--Classical Review"If Ovid wanted to read himself in English, he should certainly be happy with Melville's translation, which eloquently captures a great deal of his urbanity, wit, and sentiment in an expressive blank verse that is itself a bit of a wonder."--Thomas Clayton, Chairman, University of Minnesota"The translation is readable and tells the tales with charm, and the notes are truly excellent."--Carol R. Hershenson, Xavier University"Excellent poetic rendition, at reasonable price. Thank you. I shall order a whole library of Oxford World's Classics."--Dr. Barbara Huval, Lamar University"Reads compellingly--as Ovid should. Students enjoy [this work] greatly."--Ann Lauinger, Sarah Lawrence College"I like this translation very much. I used it this semester and will continue to use it."--Gregory M. Malion, University of New Hampshire"I shall regularly adopt this edition to use in my mythology class. It is the best paperback edition around: readable translations, episodes have titles, glossary and original line numbers on top of page."--Cliff Brockman, St. John Fisher College

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Great happy harmony on 5 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
The other reviewers say better than I could why the actual book is so good. I can only add that I love this Oxford edition and Mr Melville's translation. E.J. Kenney's introduction is very helpful too. It is gripping and shocking and the narrative has been really well done by the translator within the metre. I was terribly impressed and really pleased that I bought it. I was reading it as a source book for influences on Shakespeare which of course makes it fascinating but it is incredibly and unexpectedly good in its own right. That I suspect is down to the readability of the edition as well as Ovid's story telling.

My only little grumble is the really helpful and interesting index of explanatory notes at the back was not as easy to use as it might have been - it needed more spacing in places for ease of reference, so if your eyesight is not good the rather small print will be a bit trying.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful By El Loro on 7 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are brave enough or mug enough to go for the Dryden translation of Ovid, good luck to you. For the academically lazier or more experienced, the OUP translation by Melville is a real treat. A light touch, playful in places, enjoyable throughout - I am not a classicist or a great fan of poetry but I found I couldn't put it down.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 4 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Ovid was ignored by classical scholars for a long time as being frivolous and just not serious enough. He has now been rehabilitated and Metamorphoses is recognised as being one of the most complex, sophisticated and problematic poems of the age of Augustus - as well as one of the wittiest and most accessible.

Too often regarded as a compendium of Greek and Roman myths, Metamorphoses should be read as a continuous poem telling the story of the world from the creation to the apotheosis of Julius Caesar - but in Ovid's own inimitable and often funny and scurrilous fashion. Along the way, he takes in almost every story ever told in the ancient world: Narcissus and Echo, Orpheus and Eurydice, Pygmalion, Medea, Venus and Adonis, the Trojan war, the foundation of Rome, Romulus and Remus.

His style is witty, urbane and sophisticated, and he plays games with every genre of literature: love poetry, epic, philosophy, Greek science.
The ostensible theme of the poem that unifies the 12 books is change, but modern scholars recognise that this too is part of the game Ovid is playing with his readers, and the debate continues over what Ovid is 'about'.
More interesting, perhaps, is the way in which he plays with our preconceptions of gender, power, status and authority - but all with the lightest of touches that never reduce the brilliant story-telling to mere polemic.

Writing after Vergil, on one level Metamorphoses is a response to and a dialogue with the Aeneid, and has sometime been read as an antidote to the supposedly pro-Augustan sympathies of Vergil. Certainly Ovid was banished from Rome by the Emperor Augustus just after the poem was published though the true reason cannot be known due to the loss of all sources relating to the the incident.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JonnyCee on 19 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having laboured through the prose translation, which while very fine is not exactly pulse-raising stuff, this was a refreshing and far pacier translation that entertained and entranced
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